This was the third time I’ve photographed the funky swamp-blues troubadour from Jacksonville, Florida and it was the best Mofro show I have seen yet. Call me California or blame it on Friday the 13th if you will, but even before the show started there was an excitement, an energy pinging around the venue. By the time support act JC Brooks & The Uptown Sound left the stage, the crowd had been whipped into a full on frenzy, and backstage JJ and Mofro were just as worked up.
When Grey and his crew emerged from the wings, the crowd erupted. JJ was smiling ear-to-ear as he sipped a Stella Artois and the band stomped into “War” to open the show. By the time the tight-as-hell sextet had finished the gorgeous “Brighter Days”, the audience was in the palm of their hand as they sang along to the call-and-response choruses. I was granted access to shoot from the stage for a portion of the show and I did my best to capture some unique viewpoints of JJ’s interaction with his rabid fans.
I then moved out front to shoot from the barricade and Front Of House, as well as snagging a view shots from the balcony. In keeping with the stripped down, “front porch soul” aesthetic of the band, the lighting was pretty basic and by that I mean dim. I can’t fault that creative decision, but from a photography standpoint it really tied my hands. It brightened up a bit as the night progressed, which helped me make a few wide angle images before I finally put my cameras away and just soaked up the phenomenal performance with my many friends in attendance.
Thanks to the folks at Alligator Records and JJ’s tour manager Colin for all the help in setting up this shoot!